The 500-hectare Vesuvio Estates in the Paarl region of the Western Cape consists of three farms named Sorrento, Positano and Amalfi. Quality starts from the preparation and care provided for our soil and trees, and is carried through the production process, packaging and distribution. Olive groves, consisting mostly of Frantoio and Leccino cultivars (ideal for oil production), thrive over 90% of the cultivated land. Our olive trees are grown with love and care. An integrated pest management system ensures limited use of chemicals.
We prune and harvest mechanically, ensuring there is no human contact with the Olives from tree to consumer. This gentle treatment ensures top quality and preserves the integrity of the fruit, which is transported to our state of the art oil extraction facility and processed within 12 hours of picking. Only our home-grown Olives from the Estate are used to produce our award-winning Vesuvio Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Our fast, fresh state of the art “high tech” processing plant ensures that we can moderate acidity levels optimally, uphold the perfect taste of the fruit and retain the incredible health benefits inherent in olives.
Award-Winning Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Each season, our Master Oil Maker expertly gauges the ratios and delicately mixes Frantoio and Leccino cultivars to craft the outstanding taste of Vesuvio Extra Virgin Olive Oil – a perfect balance of fruitiness, a hint of appropriately attractive bitterness and optimal pungency. Our attention to detail and commitment to the integrity of superior quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil production has resulted in Vesuvio Estates consistently winning awards at prestigious international competitions.
South African soils and climate lend themselves to the growth of a number of olive cultivars. Mission, Kalamata and Manzanilla are amongst the commonly grown table olive varieties. Vesuvio Estates focuses primarily on the cultivation of Frantoio and Leccino olives which yield superior oils and into the mix are Mission and Coratina.
Each year, harvest time depends on the weather as variations in temperature influence the ripening of the fruit. It is a time when our Master oil maker carefully observes the trees to gauge the ratio of ripe, half ripe and green olives to be picked to produce the specific style of olive oil that is true to Vesuvio Estates. Harvesting usually begins in March and may continue until July, depending on the size of the crop. Our olives are carefully selected and harvested by machine. The olives are transported from grove to production facility where they are again graded for quality before processing.
Vesuvio Estates has invested in a large, continuous and progressive HACCP olive oil production plant with sophisticated equipment that enables swift cold extraction under quality-controlled conditions. We are able to process 5 tones of olives per hour using state of the art machinery that manufactured in Italy.
The olives move from large hoppers to washers, where leaves and stalks are removed and the olives are thoroughly cleaned. The fruit is conveyed to crushers, where the whole olive, with skin, flesh and stone, is crushed to a pulp. The pulp is kneaded for a certain period of time so the oil collates in readiness for extraction through a centrifuge. During this kneading process it is of utmost importance to keep the pulp at temperatures below 30ºC to guarantee that the olive oil is labelled Cold extracted Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Oil and water are first separated from stones and skins, at the centrifugal stage, The oil is pumped through separators dividing the oil from the water. The oil is pumped into storage tanks in a controlled environment and bottled only on order. This way, Vesuvio Estates ensures that the oil is stored in optimal conditions for as long as possible.
Highly mechanised bottling and packaging takes place in a strictly controlled and enclosed environment to ensure the complete integrity of the oil. Vesuvio Estates’ capacity for fast, fresh production – just 12 hours from picking to processing – ensures the great taste of our superior quality olives bearing all the fantastic health benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. No human contact from tree to consumer.